Dallas Cowboys must be thinking: “Why not us?”


The Dallas Cowboys must be thinking ‘why not us’ after climbing to within one game of the divisional lead with a crazy win against Washington Redskins on Monday night.

In a season that has seen the Dallas Cowboys lose in almost every way imaginable, the team was finally able to pull out a victory in the fourth quarter. The Monday night game against the NFC East leading Washington Redskins was a hard-fought defensive battle. But in the end, it was the Cowboys special teams that secured the win for Dallas. And with the victory, the 4-8 Cowboys find themselves just one game out of first place with four left to play.

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The 2015 Dallas Cowboys have blown fourth quarter leads, lost twice in overtime while never having possessed the football, and been blown out at home by the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers. These Cowboys have lost in almost every conceivable way, and yet they have somehow not lost their fight. That is a testament to head coach Jason Garrett and his staff’s ability to keep his players engaged and focused. Dallas had several opportunities in the fourth quarter to hang their heads and pack it in on Monday night, but instead they continued to battle and doing so were able to come away with an important victory.

From the opening possession of the Monday night game, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s unit served notice that they had come to play. Second year defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence sacked Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins twice in the first three plays to setup a quick punt. From there, weak side linebacker Sean Lee took over the game.

Lee and the Cowboys defense held the Washington run game to a mere 73 yards on the ground, and Lee was involved in 13 tackles and collected a sack of Cousins as well. The defense faced several short fields on the night due to offensive turnovers, and were still able to hold the Redskins to just 16 points. This was exactly the type of effort the Cowboys will need over the final four games if they are to hold onto their playoff dream.

The Cowboys defense was certainly the driving force on Monday but it was the special teams that made the winning plays in this one. Over the last 1:47 of the game, Rich Bisaccia’s special teamers recovered a fumbled punt, returned a kickoff 46-yard, and kicked a 54-yard, game-winning field goal. They also allowed a long kick return in that sequence, but in the end the result was exactly what the Cowboys needed. And as kicker Dan Bailey lined up over that long field goal try, did you ever have any doubt it would be good.

Next: Cowboys edge Redskins in a furious fourth quarter, 19-16

The NFC East has been by far the worst division in the league this season. None of the teams have been able to put together consistent stretches at any point this year. Now with only four games left, even the 4-8 Cowboys are still alive for a playoff spot.

Dallas has four tough games left on the schedule, but the other teams in the division don’t have it any easier. At the end of the day someone is going to the playoffs from this division, and after their big win against Washington on Monday Night Football the Dallas Cowboys have to be thinking: “Why not us?”